Located in the country’s capital, Hamlin Fistula Hospital has provided fistula repair surgery in Ethiopia at no cost to patients for more than 40 years. With a success rate of around 95 percent, the hospital has become a global center for fistula treatment, rehabilitation, training, and prevention. Fistula treatment is not always simple. For some women, surgery and rehabilitation can take as little as three weeks. But others arrive at the hospital so weak or debilitated they need extensive pre- and post-surgical care.

Patient Recovery


Traveling all the way to Hamlin Fistula Hospital is not possible for many women. To solve that problem, we built five regional care centers throughout Ethiopia. The regional care centers provide fistula surgery, as well as Cesarean sections for former patients to deliver babies safely.

At these centers, women receive quality pre- and post-natal care that is otherwise unavailable in their rural villages. Through their successful childbirth experiences, they become walking examples for their peers, demonstrating the benefits of this type of care, and educating others about the risks of unattended births.

The Hamlin family of facilities provides free fistula repair to approximately 2,500 women each year and we are scaling up capacity.


Since the opening of the Hamlin Fistula Hospital, we have been committed to training medical staff to manage this debilitating condition around the world. The hospital was the only center worldwide pioneering the surgical technique and training doctors both locally and internationally in the repair of this injury. This commitment to training the world’s doctors to treat fistula continues today.

Nurse Training

We offer competency  training to obstetricians/gynecologists, urologists, surgeons and nurses, working in locations where obstetric fistula is a concern. The training is both to gain the basic experience to care for simple fistula cases and also develops skills to treat more complex injuries.


With years of experience and a vast database of documented fistula cases, Hamlin Fistula Hospital offers tremendous opportunities for research that will improve maternal care on a global level.

Dr. Karen Ballard, a women’s health researcher originally from the UK, oversees the research activities at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. Her work will increase our understanding of fistula treatment and prevention, and ultimately improve patient care. Research topics include factors that predispose women to fistula, the connection between mobility and health, neurological injuries associated with fistula, and many more.